Lead character is way to wimpy to be a Chicago cop, both as a professional and in her personal life. As a Chicagoan, I was looking forward to local color, so mispronouncing places/streets was distracting. The story/mystery is ok, lead character is however, pathetic.
One Mississippi is about thirteen hours of listening, read by Jeff Woodman. It’s a coming of age tale. The reading by Woodman, albeit a heartfelt, creative effort, is very distracting … with singing throughout … ugh. The fact that the audiobook has an average rating of 4 stars has me puzzled … it’s not that good … plus, about twice as many audiobook reviews as the other formats. The story arc isn’t very well focused in that there are many side issues to the main thrust, which is a couple of guys romping through juvenile mechanicalness and angst as they squirm or lie their way around guilt. There are several reviews that rave, several that pan, several readers think the book is hilarious. Frankly, I don’t fit into any pigeon hole on this tale, unless there is a category for ‘indifference’. With One Mississippi I did learn something, though. If you are local to Mississippi, you call it: Missippi. Appears I’m not much help to potential readers, in that this review is very vague. So is the book. Not impressed.
Timbuktu is just under six hours of listening, read by Joe Barrett. The story is written from the point of view of a dog, Mr. Bones. The dog is not a lovely Labrador Retriever, as pictured on the cover. Mr. Bones is a Heinz variety, of unknown heritage. That said, the story of a dog’s loyalty is a fun read (listen). The dog’s owner, Willie Christmas, of somewhat questionable character, is dying. The two converse … well, Mr. Bones ’thinks’, Willie talks. But, Mr. Bones understands pretty much everything said and has his own doggie interpretations. The tale progresses through Mr. Bones’ thoughts as he and Willie journey to Boston and someone Willie hopes will take care of Mr. Bones when the grim reaper calls. Any dog lover will get a bang out of this unique perspective. Got this audiobook via one of Audible.com’s Daily Deals. Enjoyed.
Read by Jeff Cummings, Strange Highway is just over six hours of listening. Typical of Dean Koontz this story is hide-under-the-covers scary stuff. The plot is intriguing. A guy is stuck in a time warp, initially bouncing back to his youth to right some wrongs. I don’t usually even purchase books less than ten hours in length, and actually purchased Strange Highway simply because it’s a Koontz. Good story.
The reader is a teeny bit intense for my taste, but whatever. It’s an intense, spooky tale … just shorter than I prefer. Enjoy!
No spoilers. This is the story of a young girl who, abandoned by her mother ten years ago, is determined to find out why. Her mother’s career involved the sanctuary and safekeeping of elephants. With the the aid of a has-been detective, a burned out phychic, and her mother’s journals , Jen investigates her past. The crux of the story, in my opinion, is the research and beautiful, and horribly sad, stories of the elephants. The relationships between the animals, their babies, the human who interact with and care for them, is beautifully told. I’m not so sure this part of the story wouldn’t make for good non-fiction. Leaving Time reminds me a good deal of Jane Goodall and her primates, the fictionalized story of Jen only a vehicle to convey the world of elephants.
Leaving Time is just over fifteen hours of listening and read by an ensemble cast, Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and Mark Deakins. Individual characters of the story are read by the individual cast members. This is the first story I’ve listened to, other than old radio programs, that are created in this manner. The process made for a unique listen, smooth transitions. Enjoyed!
Catherine Taber does not do male voices. Any attempt is barely discernible and lame, at best. In conversations that include a male voice, it is difficult to decide who-is-talking-to-who, a listener nightmare of re-wind hell. John Grisham has a history of using narrators like Michael Beck or Scott Brick, and others who are stellar at their trade of voice-over or audiobook narration. I frown at my iPhone and wonder why Grisham went with Catherine Taber. Maybe, given that the lead character, the POV, in Gray Mountain is a woman? Although sweet, clear in diction, nice pacing, Catherine Taber’s voice is much more suited to young adult or children’s books. Her voice is child-like, teenaged, valley-girlish. Nothing against her … the reading is okay, but her voice simply doesn’t work for Gray Mountain, at all. Bad choice.
So, to those contemplating the audio version of Gray Matter, do your best to ignore the reader and focus on the story itself.
Samantha, the lead character, is caught in the New York collapse of the financial world of a few years ago. Lay off from her job as a junior associate lawyer is the catalyst to a job at not-for-profit legal aid clinic in the boondocks of coal country. Black lung, crooked strip mining companies, and desperate poor people traverse the pages of a novel that is very typical of John Grisham. All of Grisham’s books involve characters and the locale of the deep south, i.e., A Time to Kill and Sycamore Row and A Painted House, etc. Write what you know is taken seriously with Grisham, as is the New England area with Stephen King.
Grisham has an incredible understanding and knowledge of the legal arena and of the southern psyche. His deep love of the south is very apparent in his words, his insight is a pleasure to read.
Gray Mountain is a David-vs-Goliath story, big coal company skulduggery vs the desperate little guy. The story is a bit longer than necessary, scenes and side-plots having little, if anything, to do with the story arc, but considering the arena of the Grisham books, this one fits in well. If you’re a fan of Grisham, you will enjoy the story.
I’ll start by saying I’m a big fan of the Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis characters, and the narration of John Rubinstein. These stories are always absorbing, easy listens. The Murder Book is not up to these standards, sadly. There are many side issues, way too many characters to keep track of, many of them irrelevant to the basic plot. The entire story arc is much more complicated than necessary. Although I listened to the entire story, as there are interesting segments, I had a difficult time. Reversed the iPhone Audible player a number of times to re-listen and finally just kept-on-keeping-on, and tried to stay with the rhythm of the tale.
The narrator, John Rubinstein, does a terrific job with a plethora of voices. If you’ve listened to audiobooks for as long as I have, his voice will be familiar. He’s narrated quite a few for many other authors, and is quite good. He is a good choice by Kellerman for the voice of Alex Delaware.
The story is typical of the Delaware/Sturgis modus operandi. A dead girl. Let’s find out what happened. So the premise is pretty much right for the characters; the author execution, however, is not. Complex, convoluted.
I’ve been a fan of the Harry Bosch character for many years, since his introduction in The Black Echo in 2008. When Connelly made the decision to create stories around another character, Mickey Haller, I was disappointed. I was so loyal to and a fan of the sad-sack-drinks-too-much-go-to-detective that I rebelled. I wouldn’t listen to anything about this new guy. I then read The Lincoln Lawyer, featuring Mickey. I still preferred Harry, but Haller was okay. In this his novel, The Reversal, Harry and Mickey work together to bring down a killer, released on his own recognizance for a re-trial, after spending a decade in jail for the murder of a child. Thus is the crux of The Reversal. There are a few thousand reviews, so I can’t add much, other than to say I enjoyed the listen. It’s police procedural crossed with court room drama crossed with cold-case mystery.
It took me a while to get used to the narration by Peter Giles, although I’ve listened to his readings before. He has a very low, somewhat gravely voice. But, eventually, the cadence went well with the story.
A good listen, recommended.
I want to grow up to be a house sitter like Lila. What a great gig! Live in these beautiful homes, rent free, take care of sweet animals. Nice job, if you can get it. :-) While doing her fabulous job in a gorgeous apartment, Lila witnesses a murder in an apartment out her window. Sound like a familiar premise? You’re right, the Jimmy Steward movie, Rear Window. That is where any familiarity to that film noir ends, however. From this point forward, it’s all Nora Roberts. But, not one of her best efforts. I listened to the audiobook version. The two female leads came across as ‘valley-girlish’, the men way too alpha. Lot’s of strange fascination with stiletto shoes, the sparkly the better ... a dead giveaway to female characters that are on the shallow side, or a transparent attempt to appeal to airheads? Just me, likely. The book (maybe the author?) has many fans.
Not my cup ‘o tea. However, if you’re a fan of Nora Roberts, you’ll be okay with this book. There are a few thousand reviews, ergo not much more I can add.
Like most war veterans, David Dubin never told his children anything about his time in the service, the horrors he witnessed. Now, he’s dead. While cleaning out a closet of his father’s old clothes, Stewart, his son, finds love letters and eventually a manuscript from the 1940s. His father loved a woman other than his mother. His father was nominated for a Silver Star during WWII. A court-martial was empowered to determine if David Dubin should be imprisoned. What else doesn’t Stewart know about his father? And…what does all this stuff mean?
The battle scenes are vivid and cinematic, the liberation of camps vivid, heartbreaking, and cinematic as well. Although this story is fiction, the horror of war and the devastating impact of war those who survive, witnesses, and die, is not … it is real and chilling.
If you’re looking for some insight into what war does to people, this is a very realistic accounting, wrapped around an intriguing mystery.
This audiobook has been on my todo reading list since 2005. If I’d have know it was this good, I wouldn’t have waited so long. Just over thirteen hours of listening, Ordinary Heroes, is nicely read by Edward Hermann. This narrator is a good choice by Turow, in that Hermann has narrated other historical novels, and actually played historical characters in movies (FDR, for one). There is a comfortable feeling throughout this listen, an authoritative glimpse of the past. In some instances, you’ll hear the mortars and bombs of WWII … coming through wonderfully both in Turow’s prose and Hermann’s interpretation.
This book reminds me of Forrest Gump or The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, in that historical license is taken with several famous people, like Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and many historical events. Allan Karlsson, the lead character, has had an extremely colorful life. A man of somewhat opportunistic character, he isn’t about to die in an retirement home. Karlsson steps out on an adventure, quirky characters crossing his path, and the author intersperses his life story throughout. Within the retrospective portions, famous politicians are liberally sprinkled. De Gaulle, Lyndon Johnson, Joseph Stalin … the guy is 100 years old, so most of the famous individuals of the nineteen century are cameos. What ever you do, don’t take this stuff as accurate history, it’s tongue-in-cheek! Albert Einstein has a moronic brother in this tale … not in real life!
The narration by Steven Crossley is superb. Originally published in 2009, the story has been translated from Swedish, but you can’t tell. It’s wonderfully done, award winning. It’s my understanding that a movie was released in 2013 in Sweden … but, don’t know anything about it. Worth the credit, enjoyed the listen. About 12 hours.
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